Fact and Fiction in cultural history: Foundlings in Enlightenment France
Date: Friday 5 October 2012
Venue: University library – Potgieterzaal, Singel 425, Amsterdam
Open to: PhD candidates and RMa students
Credits: 1 EC
Fee (non members): € 50.00
DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES, THIS MASTER CLASS HAS BEEN CANCELLED
Foundlings are a fact of life in Enlightenment France. Archival material (documents and objects) and literary texts (letters, diaries, but also fiction) all offer ways of approaching the topic. This master class addresses the problems and advantages of using heterogeneous sources, especially ego-documents and fiction, to reconstruct cultural history. It asks, in addition, what the specific contribution of literary history can be to larger debates about ‘the’ Enlightenment. The moderator of this master class is dr. Alicia C. Montoya (Radboud University).
This master class follows after Catriona Seth’s Sara Burgerhart lecture on the night of the 4th of October in Felix Meritis, Amsterdam. Participants are expected to both visit the lecture and to attend the master class the following day. There will be ample opportunity during the master class to ask prof. Seth questions pertaining to the Burgerhart lecture.
Catriona Seth is Professor of Eighteenth-Century French Studies at the Université de Nancy and a former visiting professor at Indiana University (Bloomington). She has published extensively on the literature and history of ideas of the period. Her books include Anthologie de la poésie française (with M. Bercot and M. Collot, Paris, Gallimard, Pléiade, 2000); Marie-Antoinette. Anthologie et dictionnaire (Paris, Robert Laffont, Bouquins, 2006); Les Rois aussi en mouraient. Les Lumières en lutte contre la petite vérole (Paris, Desjonquères, L’Esprit des lettres, 2008) and, most recently, an edition of Choderlos de Laclos’ Les Liaisons dangereuses (Paris, Gallimard, Pléiade, 2011).
Introduction by dr. Alicia C. Montoya (Radboud Universiteit)
Lecture prof. Seth: “Fact and Fiction in cultural history: Foundlings in Enlightenment France”
Questions and discussion with prof. Seth, in response to this lecture, and the lecture of October fourth, “ ‘Nobody’s Children?’ Foundlings, Identity and Individual Rights in the Enlightenment”.
14:30 tea and coffee break
15:00 – 17:00
Seminar: Fact and Fiction in Cultural History: Foundlings in Enlightenment France
The afternoon seminar will be a work-in-progress class. PhD researchers and RMA students will give a brief presentation (max 10 minutes) of their own research project. In this presentation, please discuss what, according to you, the specific contribution of literary history should be to larger debates about ‘the’ Enlightenment seen from a traditional history-of-ideas perspective (e.g. as a movement of secularization, modernization, political emancipation, etc.). To what extent should literary texts be read against this background, and to what extent should they instead be considered autonomously, with an emphasis on their working as a specific kind of language artifacts?
- Darnton, Robert. The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History. New York: BasicBooks, 1984: 209-249 ‘Readers respond to Rousseau: the fabrication of romantic sensitivity’.
- Fielding, Henry. Tom Jones. (any edition): first chapter.
- Sterne, Laurence. Tristram Shandy. (any edition): first chapter.